Monday, October 17, 2011

Vegan MoFo - O is for Olive Bread and Okonomiyaki

Oooohhh, it's a double post! Olive bread was my choice for this letter until the man asked me to make the Japanese pancake thing you used to make that starts with O - he meant Okonomiyaki of course.

I used to buy Olive bread from time to time but it wasn't terribly popular at home so I would end up devouring the majority of it. I love eating it fresh or toasted and we also discovered on the weekend that it gives an interesting twist to your standard garlic bread. I halved quantities and adapted a recipe from The Cook's Companion which made a french stick sized loaf. A mixture of black and green olives went into the mix as it was what I had on hand and I also used a different herb. It turned out to be a really nice light loaf of bread although I probably would use a few more olives next time.

The name Okonomiyaki translates to okonomi - "as you like it", yaki - "grilled". They are Japanese pancakes which are very tasty when made solely with vegetables as it's the topping sauces that really complete the dish. All of the okonomi sauces contained oyster sauce at my Asian grocer so I searched around and decided to give this simple one a try. I scaled the quantities of the recipe back to 1/4 and made a couple of vegan friendly substitutions. I found that the sauce was rather thin so it was thickened up with some cornflour.

The pancakes are very easy to put together especially if you have a food processor to shred up the cabbage, carrots and zucchini. This was the first time I have used capsicum or bean shoots but they needed using up so they went in.The hardest thing to judge is the consistency of the vegetable batter, if it's too runny they pancakes won't hold together very well but if it's too thick they can taste too floury. They are easy to make and fun to decorate and will fill you up a lot quicker than you think.      

Click here to see my A - Z of Vegan MoFo posts.


Olive bread (Adapted from The Cook's Companion)

300g bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon dried oregano
12 black and green olives, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
150ml warm water

Place the flour, salt, yeast, oregano and olives in a large bowl and mix well. Make a well in the centre, pour in the oil followed by the water and mix well. Transfer the mixture to a clean bench and knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is springy and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise until doubled in size, approx 1 hour.

Tip the dough onto your bench but don't knock it back. Work the dough gently in a long loaf shape, then wrap in a floured tea towel and allow to rise to 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 220C with a baking tray inside. Roll the loaf onto the tray and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped.


1/2 small cabbage, shredded
2 small carrots, grated
1 medium zucchini, grated
1/2 red capsicum, finely chopped
1/2 cup bean sprouts, washed and trimmed
1 teaspoon vegetable stock powder
pepper, to taste
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons water
1 cup plain flour
olive oil spray
okonomi sauce (recipe below), for topping
vegan mayonnaise, for topping
spring onions, for garnish

Mix the cabbage, carrots, zucchini, red capsicum, bean shoots, stock powder and pepper together in a bowl. Add the water and flaxseed/water mixture and use your hands to combine thoroughly. Add the flour a little at time, mixing well with your hands.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and spray lightly with olive oil. Grab a large handful of the mixture, form it into a ball, flatten it slightly then add it to the frying pan. Press down gently on the pancake to flatten it further. After about 3-5 minutes, flip the cake over and cook for a further 3-5 minutes on the other side. Repeat until the mixture is used up.

Serve okonomiyaki topped with okonomi sauce and vegan mayonnaise, garnished with spring onions.

Okonomi sauce Adapted from Okonomiyaki recipe blog)

1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup vegan worchestershire sauce
1 tablespoon vegan oyster mushroom sauce
1 tablespoon agave nectar
2 teaspoons cornflour

Mix the ketchup, worchestershire sauce, oyster mushroom sauce and agave nectar together in a small saucepan. Stir cornflour with a small amount of water in a teacup to make a smooth past, then add it to the saucepan. Heat gently, stirring for a couple of minutes until thickened.


  1. love your 'O's - have tried okonomiyaki and it was a dismal failure so am a bit wary about trying it again but I love it so much - though not so keen on the sauces even if they look so pretty - and love olive bread - sounds a great way to eat garlic bread

  2. Mmm... I love okonomiyaki, and yours look so good and full of fresh things!

  3. Olive bread is just the best--I'd forgotten how much I love it until I picked up a loaf on a whim last week. Your recipe looks like the jam! And what rockin' okonomiyaki!

  4. Both the olive bread and the okonomiyaki look great and your sauce zigzagging looks perfect too!

    I've nominated your blog for an award, check out my VeganMoFo Day 18 post for details ;)

  5. Oh man I love olive bread so much, I think I might have to make it soon. I'd never head of okonomiyaki until MoFo this year but it's definitely something I need in my life!

  6. These look so good! Making me hungry!

  7. Your okonomiyaki looks fantastic too! New favourite blog!!

  8. Thanks Johanna, I'm surprised to hear that you don't like the okonomiyaki sauces as they are what make it so special for me. The olive garlic bread was a nice change from the norm.

    Thanks coldandsleepy, I had forgotten how much I loved okonomiyaki as it's been so long since I last made it.

    Thanks Jes, olive bread is so nice and it had been a very long time since I ate it too.

    Thanks Mandee, I love doing the zigzagging when making okonomiyaki. Thanks so much for the award too!

    Thanks Jojo, you definitely should try okonomiyaki if you haven't had it before!

    Thanks Isobelle!

    Thanks Mattheworbit, your comment made me blush a little. I'm so happy that you are enjoying my posts! :D